Awesome Week of Goodness: The Cover Revelation

Internets, we are nearing the end of the Awesome Week of Goodness! I know, so sad.

Yesterday, I gave you a snippet of my forthcoming novel, When We Wake. The day before that, you got to read my short story, “The Unicorn Bell”. The day before that I showed you the cover of Wilful Impropriety, the anthology in which my short story “Mrs Beeton’s Book of Magickal Management” will be appearing.

And today I am revealing to you the cover of When We Wake.

This book is a Sleeping Beauty story. The question that has always bothered me is what happened to the Sleeping Beauty after she woke up? She was asleep for a hundred years! In some stories, her family and household slept with her. In some, she slept alone. The methods of her waking range from romantic (true love’s kiss!) to totally creepy (the twins she’d been impregnated with in her sleep were born and sucked the spindle/thorn out of her, breaking the curse).

But however the story ends, for me, it ends in the wrong place. A hundred years is a very long time, and humans can do an awful lot in it. They can invent new social forms and adopt new religions. They can obliterate languages, and peoples, and a few thousand species. They can come up with technologies that permanently alter the way people make food, and war, and babies. They can tear down ancient monuments, and rearrange political boundaries.

In a hundred years, what is “normal” can be drastically revised. We don’t tend to notice just how incredible these alterations are, because we’re living through them.

But to the Sleeping Beauty, this all happened in an instant. How did those changes affect her? What did she think of the world? “And they lived happily ever after” didn’t satisfy me. I wanted to know what really happened next.

And I was itching to write a sci-fi adventure, so I set the book in the not-too-distant future. Also I think my agent said something about my body count, so I told him that next time I was going to kill the protagonist in the first chapter. (SPOILER! Except not really. Come on, it’s in the first chapter.)

Tegan Oglietti is preserved in frozen death for a hundred years, and wakes to a world both frighteningly familiar and incredibly different. And while the existence of that long sleep informs her journey through the narrative, and complicates a lot of what people think about her, what was really interesting to me – and to Tegan – is what she sees and says and does when she wakes.

And that is why I love the crap out of my cover:

When We Wake Cover

Tegan Oglietti has woken up. And she’s going to kick some ass.

Cover copy:

My name is Tegan Oglietti, and on the last day of my first lifetime, I was so, so happy.

Sixteen-year-old Tegn is just like every other girl living in 2027 – she’s happiest when playing the guitar, she’s falling in love for the first time, and she’s joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan’s life, she dies – and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity – even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn’t all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

Award-winning author Karen Healey has created a haunting, cautionary tale of an inspiring protagonist living in a not-so-distant future that could easily be our own.


I will give away ONE shiny ARC of When We Wake. To enter, comment, and tell me the single thing you want most to have happened, a hundred years from now.

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  • Peter

    A hundred years from now I’d want the human race (and the endless variety of living things) to have survived, but if I am putting myself in the position of Tegan we can assume that at least one human has survived so I get to choose a second “single thing”: I know ‘World Peace’ is a cliché answer, but as far back as history is recorded, people have been hating on each other for prejudiced reasons. The fact that this is still happening after man hundreds of years might give one no hope for 2112, but we cannot give up on affecting change. Technology will come and go a dozen times in unexpected ways during that time, but one hundred years from now I most want a global change of consciousness. Through an education system that focusses less on pushing a diverse range of people towards a single academic goal and more on teaching people to put themselves in another’s shoes and think about and analyse what they see and hear (and to teach their children the same) we will hopefully have a world in which countries are less segregated, where cultures are different but no one thinks theirs is right and are suspicious of others. A united economy will hopefully go hand in hand with an international reevaluation of ‘wealth’, seeing fewer people obsessed with amassing innumerable amounts of money that no longer represents work or its worth in necessities and recreation.
    Okay, to bring it back to a single point, I can’t wait to read your book because I want to read a more intelligent (than I can muster) imagining of how people might think, interact and behave in the future, as social norms and popular thought will be so different. I know there is more difference between people of different nations and cultures in the world today than there will be between a person today and a person in 2112, but I’d like every country and government to get along, to tear down the walls, consider us all to be citizens of the same nation and share equally. That is my final answer.

  • Marina Fin

    Hi Karen — too late for the giveaway, I know, but I just found your blog (via Tansy’s) and wanted to say your book sounds awesome. I’ll definitely be looking out for it in the shops. I love fairy tales and new takes on them. I guess you must have read Beauty by Sheri S Tepper? Another book that deals with what happens after Sleeping Beauty awakes, though more literally than yours. It was a little violent for me, but very interesting. Have also just read Cinder by Marissa Meyer, an update of Cinderella. My daughters loved that, so I think they’ll enjoy yours too. Looking forward to it.